Published on June 28, 2018 by

Zika virus outbreak: Challenges for research

From the onset of an infectious disease outbreak, there is a need for public health guidance. In order to inform this guidance, one needs to understand the potential risks that are associated with the outbreak. At this stage, however, large scale studies providing robust evidence for Zika virus are lacking, and evidence only slowly accumulates as the outbreak expands. This article discusses approaches to two challenges that the Zika virus outbreak presented: 1) Establishing causality between Zika virus and adverse neurological outcomes in the absence of high quality epidemiological studies; 2) Establishing the risk of sexual transmission in the presence of multiple transmission routes.